Saturday, 20 March 2010

"For they killed him not" - Part 6

The Truth About Jesus: A Muslim Perspective by Dr. Bleher, S. M. (2007) - (Reg. Charity No. 1092139)


Just as Jesus' entry into this world was miraculous, his departure from this world was equally so.

Instead of dying a natural death, he was raised to heaven and saved from those who plotted against him:

"(And remember) when Allah said: O Jesus! I am gathering you and causing you to ascend to Me, and am cleansing you of those who disbelieve and am setting those who follow you above those who disbelieve until the Day of Resurrection. Then to Me you will (all) return, and I shall judge between you as to that in which you used to differ." (Al-Qur'an, chapter 3, verse 55)

And: "But Allah took him up to Himself. Allah is ever Mighty, Wise." (Al-Qur'an, chapter 4, verse 158)

Christians do not deny Jesus' ascension, but believe it followed his crucifixion. They teach that he rose from the dead and then was raised to God, and they see this as his greatest miracle and proof of divinity.

Jesus' alleged crucifixion is probably the biggest issue of contention between Christians and Muslims. The crucifixion has also been the source of enmity between Christians and Jews because Jesus was allegedly put to death on the behest of the Jewish elders.

The key Christian doctrine is that by sacrificing His own son, God redeemed the world of sin.

According to the old testament, crucifixion was a humiliating death reserved for those who were cursed. In his letter to the Galatians Paul explains that everybody is cursed under the law of God, because no-one can fully keep it, but that by taking this curse upon himself Jesus has freed the world from the curse of the law.

Christians, therefore, replace the requirement of keeping the law with the need to love Jesus who sacrificed himself for them.

This is, of course, in contradiction to Jesus' own teaching mentioned earlier that he had not come to abolish the law, but to fulfil it (please refer Part 5).

There are other contradictions in this doctrine. The idea that God punished His innocent son to free mankind from inherited sin violates the rule set out in Deuteronomy 24:16: "The fathers shall not be put to death for the children, nor shall the children be put to death for the fathers, every man shall be put to death for his own sin."

The same is expressed in the Qur'an:

"No soul shall bear another's burden." (Al-Qur'an, chapter 6, verse 164)

In trying to show that God knows no limits in His attempt to forgive and redeem mankind, Christian theologians have Him break His own laws and punish the innocent in order to save the guilty.

A truly loving God does not need this kind of inequity in order to be forgiving.

From the Muslim point of view, the crucifixion never took place:

"...they killed him not nor crucified him, but it appeared so to them; and those who disagree concerning it are in doubt of it; they have no knowledge of it except pursuit of a conjecture; they killed him not for certain." (Al-Qur'an, chapter 4, verse 157)

Some commentators explain the phrase "but it appeared so to them" as meaning that some other person, maybe Judas who had betrayed him, was put on the cross instead in a case of mistaken identity.

According to the teachings of Islam, Jesus did not die and then rise again from the dead. He was saved the humiliating death of crucifixion by God Who made him ascend to Himself.

He remains in the presence of God until the time when he will have to complete his task: to return as the Messiah or Christ near the end of time.



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